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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Learning about God's Creation







We had a park day yesterday with our homeschool group where we learn about a different topic from God's Creation. Yesterday it was about insects. A sweet friend of ours is in charge of these Science park days. She teaches the children about the various topics. It's awesome! She loves Science and knows a lot about nature. Her enthusiasm is contagious. We took our ant farm and a frog that Clayton caught. Our friend found a large snapping turtle at the park. It's been a long time since I held a turtle. Clayton and one of his friends found this large egg in the water of the lake. There are a lot of geese at this lake, so maybe it's a goose egg.

Our ants are doing great in our farm. When we received the first batch of ants, there were only 5 or 6 live ants. The rest were dead and in pieces which means that they had been dead for a while. My husband called the company and they sent a new batch. We now have a whole bunch of busy ants making tunnels in the gel. I learned yesterday that the gel is from a NASA invention. They took ants up into space and needed to give them food and water in a non-messy form. By the way, if you ever want to order bugs, I've heard that Insect Lore is the place to buy them. I'll know next time!



Thursday, May 27, 2010

Christ-likeness


I recently learned a really sad story about Mahatma Ghandi. Our preacher wrote about it in a church e-mail. I think just about anyone would recognize the name Ghandi, but did you know that he once was interested in becoming a Christian? He was very enraptured by the teachings of Jesus Christ and often quoted Him. Once when the missionary E. Stanley Jones met with Ghandi he asked him, “Mr. Ghandi, though you quote the words of Christ often, why is it that you appear to so adamantly reject becoming his follower?”
Ghandi replied, “Oh, I don’t reject your Christ. I love your Christ. It’s just that so many of you Christians are so unlike your Christ.” The story goes that Ghandi attempted to attend a Christian church while in South Africa. A man was standing at the door and very rudely told him he couldn't attend their church. So.....Mr. Ghandi remained a Hindu and never had a relationship with Jesus. How tragic. He would have made an awesome Christian!
Beth Moore tells a story about a time when she and her ministry team went out West for a conference. During a break, the other ladies on the team went on a field trip to the Grand Canyon or some place similar. The atheist tour guide was very impressed with how sincere and friendly the ladies were. Before they parted ways he told one of them, "If all Christians acted like you ladies there would be a lot more of you." We all need to act more like Christ when we're out in public.....but it's just as important to act like Christ when we're doing the day to day tasks at home in front of our children and spouses.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Carrington's Spring Recital






























Carrington had her recital over the weekend. It was based on the book "Just the Way You Are" by Max Lucado. Carrington took a drama class this year, so she had a part in the drama. She also took a worship dance class. She has had such a great experience this year! Both of her teachers were very nice, patient, and encouraging. There were a lot of really sweet girls at her studio. She had a blast at the recital. I was a backstage Mom for both performances, so I got to be a part of it with her. Being a backstage Mom was stressful but fun. I did everything from putting make-up on the cast, to changing microphones from one cast member to another, to telling the girls when it was their turn to go onstage.
My Mom and Dad came into town to go to Carrington's performance. I was so appreciative of them for coming. My Mom was in a lot of pain the whole time (she has terrible Gout). My Dad comes to all of her recitals and never complains. I know it's not super exciting for him, and he may not be able to tell which one she is when she's on stage because his vision is bad. But they always come, and it means the world to Carrington.






Monday, May 17, 2010

















Our trip to a strawberry farm about 2 weeks ago. The strawberries are great and I made a ton of strawberry jelly.

My kids are sick right now. I woke up at 7:00 this morning to Clayton crying and saying, "I'm sick!" I took him into the bathroom and he threw up on the carpet. Half of the upstairs bathroom has carpet and the other half is tile. That was a dumb move on whomever built this house. Carrington is sick now too. I'm hoping they will get over it really fast. Clayton is already acting like he feels a lot better. They both ate some crackers and drank a little bit of Gingerale. Yes, I know Gingerale isn't good for you, but my Mom gave me Gingerale when I was sick and I'm a creature of habit. I have washed so many towels and washcloths today that I ran out of laundry soap!

I'm thinking they may have picked this up yesterday at the park. After church, I took them to a nearby park to play in the water fountains. There were a ton of kids there. The good news is that childhood illnesses like this will strengthen their immune system. That always makes me feel better when my kids are sick. There was a study of children in daycare who picked up a lot of illnesses. They had a lot lower rate of some type of cancer because their immune systems were strong.

My kids are listening to "Kit, an American Girl" on CD right now. Thank goodness for books on CD! The kids love them and it is something to do besides watching tv.

I hope I don't get sick. I feel queasy, but it could be from cleaning up vomit. And to think that I worked as a nurse for 9 years!



Monday, May 10, 2010

My new favorite book

I am reading this book and am so inspired that I just had to write about it here! I stumbled upon this book while requesting books from my library. I had heard about it from someone in my homeschool group, but I didn't know exactly what it was about. A Thomas Jefferson Education by Oliver Van DeMille is such a great book! I have several other books that I am supposed to be reading, but I decided to start this one since it's due back to the library soon and I'm so glad that I did.
Oliver Van DeMille is the founder and president of George Wythe College and a father of eight children. The book basically explains how to inspire your students to love learning, to be inspired, to get a better education than your average American student, and to become leaders in society. He is writing the book to teachers, professors, homeschool parents, and parents in general. He says that students need to read classic literature, the Bible, poems, short biographical stories about great people in history, such as scientists, presidents, artists, etc.
The author tells a story about a group of freshmen at a prestigous university. Their professor had the class read the book The Closing of the American Mind. The students read the book and hated it. They weren't impressed......after all they were the cream of the crop at an Ivy League school. The professor gave a pop quiz to make his point. He asked the class to tell him what they knew about the Mayflower Compact, the Magna Carta, the Spanish Armada, the Bull Moose party, Don Giovanni, the Tenth Amendment, and other topics. The students were embarrassed.
DeMille says to have your students read, write, do projects, and discuss. He says that the classics teach the great moral lessons and make you think when you read them. For younger children he recommends Little House on the Prairie, Black Beauty, and others. He says to have your students keep a journal and write in it every day----a few paragraphs about what they have learned that day.
This type of education is similar to the Charlotte Mason method of teaching. She recommended having your children read "living" books as opposed to dry, boring textbooks. Oliver Van DeMille is also opposed to textbooks as far as I can tell so far. (I'm not yet half way through the book.) I completely agree that textbooks don't inspire children to learn. When you don't want to learn something because it's so stinking boring, you will forget it soon after you have read it. Right now I am reading through the Slim Goodbody series of books and I'm embarrassed to say that I have learned some things tonight after reading the one about the endocrine system. (I have a bachelor's degree in nursing.) The illustrations are top notch in these books. No, they aren't the classics, but they are very helpful in teaching anatomy to my first and fifth graders.
I do agree with DeMille about how important the classics are to read. They honestly make you think. Some of the better books I have read to my children have made a big impression on all of us and made us think. I can't wait to read more of A Thomas Jefferson Education and put into practice some of his suggestions. You can get it from your library or order it from www.amazon.com. There is also A Thomas Jefferson Education Home Companion. I hope my library has that one too!
Speaking of classics, I love to play classical music during the day when we are doing school, especially if it's more mellow music. There is just something about classical music that calms my children down and helps them to concentrate better on what they are doing. There is scientific research that shows that classical music is good for your brain and behavior. It definitely helps at our house! :o)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

books and baseball






























These pictures are mixed up. The baseball pictures are from last year. We took pictures of Clayton tonight at his game, but for some reason I can't get them to download from my camera. It doesn't take much to stump me when it comes to technology.
Clayton had a great game tonight. Earlier today he was worried about the game. He asked me, "What if I strike out with the kid pitch?". This season they have started using the kids to pitch as opposed to a machine pitch. He does really well hitting from a machine pitched ball, but he gets flustered sometimes with the kids pitching. Clayton said, "Mommy, will you pray for me not to strike out?" I prayed that God would calm his nerves so that he could do his very best and that he would get a hit. He had a great hit at his game last Saturday. After that game, Clayton said, "Are you proud of me Daddy, for having such a good hit?" Warren told him that he was very proud of him, but that he would be proud of him even if he struck out. Warren got home early to practice with Clayton before the game tonight.
Towards the end of the game, we were losing 3 to 4. Then in the last inning we tied at 4 to 4. Clayton came up to bat and hit a line drive all the way to the back fence. 2 of our players came home and Clayton ran to second base. We won the game. Everyone started screaming for Clayton. All of the players and coaches high-fived him. I was so happy for him I could have cried. It's amazing how soft-hearted motherhood makes us!
This week, I read Teddy's Button to my kids. What an awesome story! It's about a little boy who becomes a Christian with the guidance of his pastor. The pastor uses a lot of military terminology that the little boy can relate to, such as Jesus being our Captain and the little boy being a soldier in God's army. Clayton was so inspired by this story and so into it. At one point in the story, Teddy's pastor talks about God having a banner of love and that we need to have a banner of love over other people. Soooo we made a banner and the kids decorated it.
Ever since I started the book Clayton has been wearing his capes and playing with his plastic sword and shield. He has a Superman cape and a Bibleman cape. Carrington wore the Bibleman cape while doing the dishes. You never know what my kids will have on during the course of the day. Clayton wore his Bibleman cape and mask to the grocery store the other day. Carrington was mortified and wanted to act like she didn't know him. It was so cute to see how many people smiled at him in the grocery store. It certainly put a smile on my face!




Monday, May 3, 2010

Some pics at the hotel
















































A few pictures from the weekend. Warren, Carrington, Clayton, and I stayed at a hotel for 2 nights while we went to the convention. My sister brought her 3 girls and also stayed right next door. The hotel was very nice and we had a lot of fun. I took the kids on a tour around the hotel on the first night. The view from the top floor windows was beautiful at night! Clayton loved going around on the revolving door in the lobby.







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